Dear Next President,
I’m sure you are well-aware of all the challenges and responsibilities that come with the presidency. Because if not, you will soon. I, myself, am not all-knowing when it comes to our country’s government, but I do know that our country, much like others, is far from perfect. There are many serious issues today that plague our everyday life, but I am here to talk about one that matters to me greatly.
Racism has existed for so long, hiding within our family members, friends, strangers. There is no escape from racism. Racism can be found everywhere, in our schools, in the workplace, in our neighborhoods. People of color are prejudiced, determined unsafe, distinguished as inferior. This is not okay. This is not humane. Why are black men and women being murdered for seeming “suspicious”? Why are all Middle Easterners determined as terrorists? Why are our leaders and politicians calling all Latino immigrants “rapists” and “killers”? Why do some believe that those with a darker skin pigmentation are inferior, less than human? I guess I’ll never understand. Is this the world that our generation is subjected to?
When I was barely in fifth grade, a classmate asked me during recess, “Why are you acting so...black?” We were just a mere ten years old, yet this girl already had somehow determined that acting “black” is something negative, something I shouldn’t want to be. If a ten year old had already established this idea, then there’s truly no hope for the rest of us. This idea that people of color, “non-whites”, are somehow inferior to those who aren’t, is ingrained into everyone’s minds. According to bigstory.org, “In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.” Even though we’d hope that the influence of racism would decrease as the years went on, its seems that this is not true. Instead of leaving it to chance, we all have to do something about it, each in our own ways.
Although some may believe that racism and oppression is old news, but we still face racism every day, and we still see it everywhere. It may not be possible to completely eradicate this prejudiced idea, but we can start small and try to lessen it. We can start by teaching our children that everybody deserves to be treated equally. We can start campaigns that will educate and inform about race relations, the reality of white privilege, and ways to reduce racism, as well as have people speak up about their experience with racism. You can start helping us by lobbying and fighting for laws that promote equal salaries, equal opportunities, and laws that punish those who discriminate in housing or employment. We can defeat racism, little by little, community by community, country by country.“It takes but one person, one moment, one conviction, to start a ripple of change” (Donna Brazile).